Republican Trumpism versus Brezhnev’s Communist Party circa 1979

Leonid Brezhnev


“The Republican Party has become, in form if not in content, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union of the late 1970s,” the Never Trumper conservative Tom Nichols laments. “I can already hear the howls about invidious comparisons. I do not mean that modern American Republicans are communists. Rather, I mean that the Republicans have entered their own kind of end-stage Bolshevism, as members of a party that is now exhausted by its failures, cynical about its own ideology, authoritarian by reflex, controlled as a personality cult by a failing old man, and looking for new adventures to rejuvenate its fortunes.”

In the late 1970s, Nichols explains, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union — under the leadership of Leonid Brezhnev — was “a spent force” run by “party ideologues” who stubbornly clung to Marxist-Leninist dogma. Brezhnev’s cronies, Nichols recalls, considered him a “heroic genius.”

“Members of the Communist Party who questioned anything, or expressed any sign of unorthodoxy, could be denounced by name, or more likely, simply fired,” Nichols notes. “They would not be executed — this was not Stalinism, after all — but some were left to rot in obscurity in some make-work exile job, eventually retiring as a forgotten ‘comrade pensioner.’ The deal was clear: pump the party’s nonsense and enjoy the good life, or squawk and be sent to manage a library in Kazakhstan. This should all sound familiar.”

Just as the Marxist-Leninist ideologues of the late 1970s rallied around Brezhnev, Nichols argues, the Republican Party of 2021 is rallying around Trump.

“Falling in line, just as in the old Communist Party, is rewarded, and independence is punished,” Nichols observes. “The anger directed at Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger makes the stilted ideological criticisms of last century’s Soviet propagandists seem almost genteel by comparison. At least Soviet families under Brezhnev didn’t add three-page handwritten denouncements to official party reprimands.”

The Soviet Communist Party didn’t collapse in 1978 or 1979, but it did collapse in the early 1990s — even Mikhail Gorbachev’s glasnost reforms of the 1980s couldn’t save the Soviet Union, which no longer exists. Modern-day Russia is now ruled by a right-wing authoritarian, President Vladimir Putin, and embraces crony capitalism and corporate oligarchs rather than communism. And according to Nichols, the Republican Party of the United States is, like the old Soviet Communist Party, terminally ill.

But the more marginal the GOP becomes in the months ahead, Nichols predicts, the more dangerously authoritarian it will become.

“A dying party can still be a dangerous party,” Nichols warns. “The Communist leaders in those last years of political sclerosis arrayed a new generation of nuclear missiles against NATO, invaded Afghanistan, tightened the screws on Jews and other dissidents, lied about why they shot down a civilian 747 airliner, and, near the end, came close to starting World War III out of sheer paranoia. The Republican Party is, for now, more of a danger to the United States than to the world. But like the last Soviet-era holdouts in the Kremlin, its cadres are growing more aggressive and paranoid.”

In 2021, Nichols laments, the GOP has passed the point of no return and can only sink deeper and deeper into the abyss.

“Another lesson from all this history is that the Republicans have no path to reform,” Nichols writes. “Like their Soviet counterparts, their party is too far gone. Gorbachev tried to reform the Soviet Communist Party, and he remains reviled among the Soviet faithful to this day. Similar efforts by the remaining handful of reasonable Republicans are unlikely to fare any better. The Republican Party, to take a phrase from the early Soviet leader Leon Trotsky, should now be deposited where it belongs: in the ‘dustbin of history.'”

edited from The Atlantic by way of Alternet

SiFi movie, “Day After Tomorrow” continues to play out in real life

The Day After Tomorrow was released in 2004 American it was a climate science fiction disaster film based on the 1999 book The Coming Global Superstorm by Art Bell and Whitley Strieber, the film starred Dennis Quaid, Jake Gyllenhaal, Ian Holm, Emmy Rossum, and Sela Ward.  It was criticized at the time as too far fetch, maybe so, but ever since then, the main premise of the movie has been playing out.  

Atlantic Ocean circulation at weakest in a millennium, say scientists! The decline in system underpinning Gulf Stream could lead to more extreme weather in Europe and higher sea levels on the US east coast

The Atlantic Ocean circulation that underpins the Gulf Stream, the weather system that brings warm and mild weather to Europe, is at its weakest in more than a millennium, and climate breakdown is the probable cause, according to new data.

Further weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) could result in more storms battering the UK, more intense winters and an increase in damaging heatwaves and droughts across Europe.

Scientists predict that the AMOC will weaken further if global heating continues, and could reduce by about 34% to 45% by the end of this century, which could bring us close to a “tipping point” at which the system could become irrevocably unstable. A weakened Gulf Stream would also raise sea levels on the Atlantic coast of the US, with potentially disastrous consequences.

Stefan Rahmstorf, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who co-authored the study published on Thursday in Nature Geoscience, told the Guardian that a weakening AMOC would increase the number and severity of storms hitting Britain, and bring more heatwaves to Europe.

He said the circulation had already slowed by about 15%, and the impacts were being seen. “In 20 to 30 years it is likely to weaken further, and that will inevitably influence our weather, so we would see an increase in storms and heatwaves in Europe, and sea level rises on the east coast of the US,” he said.

Rahmstorf and scientists from Maynooth University in Ireland and University College London in the UK concluded that the current weakening had not been seen over at least the last 1,000 years, after studying sediments, Greenland ice cores and other proxy data that revealed past weather patterns over that time. The AMOC has only been measured directly since 2004.

The AMOC is one of the world’s biggest ocean circulation systems, carrying warm surface water from the Gulf of Mexico towards the north Atlantic, where it cools and becomes saltier until it sinks north of Iceland, which in turn pulls more warm water from the Caribbean. This circulation is accompanied by winds that also help to bring mild and wet weather to Ireland, the UK and other parts of western Europe.

Scientists have long predicted a weakening of the AMOC as a result of global heating, and have raised concerns that it could collapse altogether. The new study found that any such point was likely to be decades away, but that continued high greenhouse gas emissions would bring it closer.

Rahmstorf said: “We risk triggering [a tipping point] in this century, and the circulation would spin down within the next century. It is extremely unlikely that we have already triggered it, but if we do not stop global warming, it is increasingly likely that we will trigger it.

“The consequences of this are so massive that even a 10% chance of triggering a breakdown would be an unacceptable risk.”

Research in 2018 also showed a weakening of the AMOC, but the paper in Nature Geoscience says this was unprecedented over the last millennium, a clear indication that human actions are to blame. Scientists have previously said a weakening of the Gulf Stream could cause freezing winters in western Europe and unprecedented changes across the Atlantic.

The AMOC is a large part of the Gulf Stream, often described as the “conveyor belt” that brings warm water from the equator. But the bigger weather system would not break down entirely if the ocean circulation became unstable, because winds also play a key role. The circulation has broken down before, in different circumstances, for instance at the end of the last ice age.

The Gulf Stream is separate from the jet stream that has helped to bring extreme weather to the northern hemisphere in recent weeks, though like the jet stream it is also affected by the rising temperatures in the Arctic. Normally, the very cold temperatures over the Arctic create a polar vortex that keeps a steady jet stream of air currents keeping that cold air in place. But higher temperatures over the Arctic have resulted in a weak and wandering jet stream, which has helped cold weather to spread much further south in some cases, while bringing warmer weather further north in others, contributing to the extremes in weather seen in the UK, Europe and the US in recent weeks.

Similarly, the Gulf Stream is affected by the melting of Arctic ice, which dumps large quantities of cold water to the south of Greenland, disrupting the flow of the AMOC. The impacts of variations in the Gulf Stream are seen over much longer periods than variations in the jet stream, but will also bring more extreme weather as the climate warms.

As well as causing more extreme weather across Europe and the east coast of the US, the weakening of the AMOC could have severe consequences for Atlantic marine ecosystems, disrupting fish populations and other marine life.

Andrew Meijers, the deputy science leader of polar oceans at British Antarctic Survey, who was not involved in the study, said: “The AMOC has a profound influence on global climate, particularly in North America and Europe, so this evidence of an ongoing weakening of the circulation is critical new evidence for the interpretation of future projections of regional and global climate.

“The AMOC is frequently modelled as having a tipping point below some circulation strength, a point at which the relatively stable overturning circulation becomes unstable or even collapses. The ongoing weakening of the overturning means we risk finding that point, which would have profound and likely irreversible impacts on the climate.”

Karsten Haustein, of the Climate Services Center in Germany, also independent of the study, said the US could be at risk of stronger hurricanes as a result of the Gulf Stream’s weakening.

“While the AMOC won’t collapse any time soon, the authors warn that the current could become unstable by the end of this century if warming continues unabated,” he said. “It has already been increasing the risk for stronger hurricanes at the US east coast due to warmer ocean waters, as well as potentially altering circulation patterns over western Europe.”

Dr Levke Caesar, of Maynooth University in Ireland, and the lead author of the paper, said sea level rises on the east coast of the US were another potential consequence. “The northward surface flow of the AMOC leads to a deflection of water masses to the right, away from the US east coast. This is due to Earth’s rotation that diverts moving objects such as currents to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere,” she said. “As the current slows down, this effect weakens and more water can pile up at the US east coast, leading to an enhanced sea level rise.”

The Guardian – Fiona Harvey Environment correspondent

Despicable fascist Republicans attack Deb Haaland at her confirmation hearing

Deb Haaland, seeking to make history as the first Native American to hold a cabinet secretary position in the US, has weathered a torrent of hostile questioning from Republicans during her confirmation hearing as secretary of the interior.

In a striking opening statement, Haaland, a member of Congress for New Mexico, said “the historic nature of my confirmation is not lost on me, but I will say that it is not about me”, adding that she hoped her elevation would “be an inspiration for Americans, moving forward together as one nation and creating opportunities for all of us”.

A Laguna Pueblo member, Haaland, 60, said she learned about her culture from her grandmother’s cooking, participating in traditional ceremonies, and learning about the importance of protecting the environment from her grandfather. Haaland said “our climate challenge must be addressed” but conceded that fossil fuels will play a role in the US for “years to come”.

Haaland is considered a progressive on the climate crisis and has previously spoken out on the impact of fossil fuel development upon the environment and Native American tribes, positions that Senate Republicans were keen to attack during a sometimes-contentious confirmation hearing.

John Barrasso, a Wyoming Republican, criticized Haaland for a tweet from October 2020 in which she stated that “Republicans don’t believe in science”. Barrasso, who has previously incorrectly said the role of human activity in climate change is “not known” and that ambitious climate action in the form of the Green New Deal would mean “cheeseburgers and milkshake would become a thing of the past”, said the tweet was “concerning to those of us who have gone through training, believe in science, and yet with a broad brush, we’re all disbelievers”.

Haaland responded to Barrasso, a surgeon, saying that “if you’re a doctor, I would assume that you believe in science”. Scientists have repeatedly said that the US, and the rest of the world, needs to rapidly reduce planet-heating emissions from fossil fuels in order to prevent disastrous heatwaves, flooding and societal unrest associated with runaway climate change.

The early exchange set the tone for more than two hours of questioning where Republicans repeatedly assailed Joe Biden’s decision to pause oil and gas drilling on federal lands as calamitous for jobs. As interior secretary, Haaland would oversee the management of lands that make up nearly a third of America’s landmass, including tribal lands.

At times the questions were extremely pointed, with Bill Cassidy, a Louisiana Republican, asking Haaland: “Will your administration be guided by a prejudice against fossil fuel, or will it be guided by science?” Importantly for the chances for Haaland’s nomination, Joe Manchin, a Democrat who represents the coal heartland of West Virginia, said that he wanted to see the “evolution not elimination” of coal mining.

Haaland said that “we want to move forward with clean energy, we want to get to net zero carbon” but also struck a conciliatory note with her questioners. The nominee said that changes to energy use “are not going to happen overnight” and that she looked forward to working with the senators. At one point when Steve Daines, a Montana Republican, asked why she supported a bill protecting grizzly bears – Haaland responded: “Senator, I believe I was caring about the bears.”

Haaland had to repeatedly correct Republicans who said Biden had scrapped, rather than paused, oil and gas leases but acknowledged her role as a progressive champion would have to change somewhat if she were confirmed. “If I’m confirmed as secretary, that is far different role than a congresswoman representing one small district in my state,” she said. “So I understand that role, it’s to serve all Americans not just my one district in New Mexico. I realize being cabinet is very different, I recognize there is a difference in those two roles.”

During later questioning, Haaland raised the disproportionate impact of the Covid-19 pandemic upon native Americans and raised concerns over tribes such as the Navajo being subjected to polluted water. In a response to a question from the Vermont senator Bernie Sanders about the opening up of an area sacred to native Americans in Arizona to mining, Haaland said she would “make sure that the voice of the tribal nation is heard on the issue”.

Haaland’s nomination has been vigorously supported by environmental and Native American groups as a landmark moment to confront the climate crisis while addressing widespread inequities experienced by tribes.

Bernadette Demientieff, executive director of the steering committee for the Gwich’in people in Alaska, said that Haaland is a “visionary leader who knows we must protect places sacred to the American people like the Arctic national wildlife refuge.

“Our way of life, our survival is interconnected to the land, water and animals. Today we honor the woman set to be the first Native American in history to fill a presidential cabinet position, and look forward to working with her to ensure that indigenous voices are heard and our human rights respected.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/feb/23/deb-haaland-confirmation-hearing-interior-secretary

Joe Manchin is the “Achilles Heel” of the Democratic Party

Neera Tanden a covenant target for suck up blue dog Manchin

“Blue Dog Democratic” Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia said he is opposing President Biden’s nominee to run the Office of Management and Budget, Neera Tanden. The White House is standing by the nomination even as Manchin’s cowardly opposition makes it more precarious.

Manchin cited negative comments about Republicans that Tanden made while running the left-leaning think tank Center for American Progress. The social media remarks have been scrutinized, largely on the right, since her nomination.

I believe her overtly partisan statements will have a toxic and detrimental impact on the important working relationship between members of Congress and the next director of the Office of Management and Budget. For this reason, I cannot support her nomination,” said “blue dog’ Manchin, who has a long history of breaking with his party and voting with Republicans.

At her confirmation hearing last week, Tanden apologized for her comments comparing GOP Senators To Voldemort And Vampires. (Oh the “horror” of it!)

“I do think the last several years have been very polarizing and I apologize for my language that has contributed to that,” Tanden told members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. “I know it’s on me to demonstrate to this committee and to Republican members and Democratic members I can work with anyone.”

But that was not enough for “Snowflake” Manchin who’s stance is a blow to Tanden’s nomination in a Senate divided 50-50 between the parties. She would need at least one Republican senator to vote in her favor. Republicans have joined Democrats in supporting other Biden nominees.

The White House remained undeterred Friday evening, reiterating its support for Tanden. Asked if he would pull her nomination, Biden said, “No.”

In a statement, White House press secretary Jen Psaki called Tanden “an accomplished policy expert who would be an excellent Budget Director.” The statement said the White House is looking forward next week’s committee votes “and to continuing to work toward her confirmation through engagement with both parties.”

Tanden, who has served as an adviser to Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama, would be the first woman of color to oversee the OMB.

That’s what this all about, being a woman of color in white-ass amerikkka

edited from NPR news

History tells us the fascist MAGA insurrection is just the beginning

Populist movements have a knack for sticking around long after their leaders leave office.

Since leaving office, Donald Trump was not convicted in his second impeachment trial, and has reportedly considered launching a new political party, investing in a social-media app, and, perhaps more predictably, making another run for the White House in 2024. In a statement following his lack of conviction, Trump declared the trial “yet another phase of the greatest witch hunt in the history of our Country,” adding, “Our historic, patriotic, and beautiful movement to Make America Great Again has only just begun.”

There are plenty of reasons to take Trump at his word. If populist movements have proved anything, it’s their remarkable staying power, even after their leaders have been removed from power, democratically or otherwise. From Berlusconism in Italy to Peronism in Argentina and Fujimorismo in Peru, personality-driven movements rarely fade once their leaders have left office. In the face of victimization, real or imagined, they often thrive.

What, then, of Trumpism? While these movements differ in ideology and context, they can be very instructive in anticipating what happens next.

The Italian Trump – Silvio Berlusconi

Of the world’s most notable populist leaders, perhaps none has garnered more comparisons to Trump than the former Italian prime minister. Berlusconi was Trump before Trump: a billionaire businessman and television personality who rose to power by railing against the political establishment and pledging to represent the interests of ordinary people. Though his career of more than two decades has been dogged by scandals, investigations, and trials—evidence, Berlusconi claimed in 2009, that he is “the most persecuted” person in history—he has nonetheless remained a political force since his (most recent) resignation from the premiership in 2011, both within his center-right Forza Italia party, of which he remains leader, as well as in national politics more broadly.

A notable difference between Trump and Berlusconi is that the latter has lost elections without incident. Still, there are elements of Berlusconi’s long tenure that Trump could seek to emulate, not least his ability to stage multiple political comebacks (his latest, as a lawmaker in the European Parliament).

But perhaps Berlusconi’s greatest success has been in his ability to retain his base of loyal supporters—a personality cult that continues to see him as akin to a god. This is one outcome Trump can likely rely on: Even in the aftermath of last month’s deadly insurrection on Capitol Hill, Republican voters still approve of the former president in overwhelming numbers, as do many of the Republican state parties across the country.

The Argentine Trump – Juan Perón

To understand the importance that a loyal base can play, look no further than Peronism. The populist movement, which dates back to the rise of former Argentine President Juan Perón in the 1940s, continues to be the preeminent political force in the country, more than four decades after its namesake’s death. This has to do largely with how Perón came to power and, crucially, how he lost it.

Like most populist figures, Perón cast himself as an advocate of ordinary citizens, and, in many ways, he was: In addition to advancing workers’ rights, he oversaw the enfranchisement of women in Argentina. But, like other populists, Perón became more and more authoritarian over the course of his rule, jailing his political opponents, vilifying the media, and restricting constitutional rights. By 1955, after nearly a decade in power, Perón was deposed in a coup and sent into exile in Spain; his party was banned.

His supporters continued to be extremely loyal to him, though—so much so that by the time Argentina’s constitutional democracy was restored nearly two decades later, Perón won reelection by a landslide.

Part of Perón’s enduring appeal had to do with the circumstances under which he lost power: His forced exile created a narrative of victimization, which “can really actually help to solidify political identities,” James Loxton, an expert in authoritarian regimes, democratization, and political parties in Latin America, told me. A similar sense of grievance seems to be taking over Trump supporters. An overwhelming majority of Republicans have subscribed to the former president’s unfounded claims that the 2020 election was stolen from him. Early polls show him to be the favorite of the 2024 Republican contenders. “This idea that he didn’t really lose and that everybody is out to get him,” Loxton said, “add[s] up to this actually quite compelling martyrdom story.”

Irrespective of whether Trump runs again, Trumpism as a movement is all but certain to be on the ballot. Indeed, a number of Trump acolytes—among them Republican Senator Josh Hawley, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo—are already jockeying to succeed the former president. Should they be recognized as the “Trumpist” candidates, the movement could take on a Perónist quality: one that is highly mobilizing, highly polarizing, and highly durable.

The Peruvian Trump – Alberto Fujimori

Another populist movement that has endured long after its namesake is Fujimorismo. Named after Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, whose decade of authoritarian rule ended in a corruption scandal in 2001, Fujimorismo remains a dominant force in Peruvian politics. Unlike Peronism, however, Fujimorismo has largely remained within the family: Fujimori’s children, Keiko and Kenji, lead rival factions of the movement, though neither has managed to succeed their father in the presidency. (Fujimori himself, who was convicted of human-rights abuses in 2009, remains in prison.)

With at least some of Trump’s children and extended family eyeing political careers of their own, it’s possible that Trumpism could end up resembling Fujimorismo more than Peronism. In some ways, it already does: All three of his eldest children have held roles in the eponymous family business. Should any of Trump’s children seek political office, it’s all but assumed that they will do so not as regular Republicans, but as heirs to the Trumpist throne.

But success isn’t a given. While the Trump name would almost certainly be an asset in any primary or Trump-leaning district, his children would also need to be able to rival their father’s emotional connection with his supporters. “Keiko Fujimori benefited massively from her surname and the fact that there was still a large chunk of the Peruvian population that really identified with Fujimorismo and the accomplishments of Fujimori’s government,” Loxton said. It helps, he added, that she is also “really good at politics.” Yet she still has not yet ascended to the heights of her father.

Whatever model Trumpism ultimately follows—whether it’s Berlusconism, Peronism, Fujimorismo, a combination of the three, or none at all—it’s widely accepted that the movement will continue to exist in some form.

Dan Slater, the director of the Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies at the University of Michigan, said that what form it takes will depend on whether American politics chooses to reorient itself not on party lines but, rather, in terms of whether you are pro- or anti-Trump, a shift not too dissimilar to how British politics realigned between those who opposed or supported Brexit.

“In the same way that Peronism versus anti-Peronism has shaped and structured Argentinian politics for decades,” Slater said, “it strikes me as quite likely that a fundamental conflict between Trumpism and anti-Trumpism is going to shape American politics for a long time to come as well.”

Edited from a story by Yasmeen Serhan in The Atlantic.

57 Senators say guilty 43 republicans give Trump a pass, again

Here is a list of the treasonous 47 unamerican Trump cultist

Barrasso, John (R-WY)

Blackburn, Marsha (R-TN)

Blunt, Roy (R-MO)

Boozman, John (R-AR)

Braun, Mike (R-IN)

Burr, Richard (R-NC)

Capito, Shelley Moore (R-WV)  

Cassidy, Bill (R-LA)

Cornyn, John (R-TX)

Cotton, Tom (R-AR)

Cramer, Kevin (R-ND)

Crapo, Mike (R-ID)

Cruz, Ted (R-TX)

Daines, Steve (R-MT)

Ernst, Joni (R-IA)

Fischer, Deb (R-NE)

Graham, Lindsey (R-SC)

Grassley, Chuck (R-IA)

Hagerty, Bill (R-TN)

Hawley, Josh (R-MO)

Hoeven, John (R-ND)

Hyde-Smith, Cindy (R-MS)

Inhofe, James M. (R-OK)

Johnson, Ron (R-WI)

Kennedy, John (R-LA)

Lankford, James (R-OK)

Lee, Mike (R-UT)

Lummis, Cynthia M. (R-WY)

Marshall, Roger, M.D. (R-KS)

McConnell, Mitch (R-KY)

Moran, Jerry (R-KS)

Paul, Rand (R-KY)

Portman, Rob (R-OH)

Rounds, Mike (R-SD)

Rubio, Marco (R-FL)

Scott, Rick (R-FL)

Scott, Tim (R-SC)

Shelby, Richard C. (R-AL)

Sullivan, Dan (R-AK)

Thune, John (R-SD)

Tillis, Thom (R-NC)

Toomey, Patrick J. (R-PA)

Tuberville, Tommy (R-AL)

Wicker, Roger F. (R-MS)

Young, Todd (R-IN)

Trump really wanted and needed his insurrection to work

Donald Trump heavily promoted the January 6 insurrection rally in Washington. Then he fired up the crowd and urged them to march on the Capitol. Theses fact are undisputed. The evidence emerging in the past few days goes much, much further. After Trump was told by Sen. Tommy Tuberville that his own Vice President Pence had been rushed out of the Senate chamber, his security in question, Trump posted to Twitter, raging at Pence’s betrayal. “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify,” Trump posted after his conversation with Tuberville. “USA demands the truth!” The mob, while this was going on, was rampaging the building, chanting “Hang Mike Pence!”

That Trump attacked Pence publicly after learning Pence was under threat strongly suggests Trump was eager to see the mob locate Pence and do what they would with him. As the NY Times has reported, Trump told Pence he’d “go down in history as a pussy” if he didn’t flip the election to Trump. Trump clearly wanted the crowd to punish his disloyalty. 

Added to that new piece of evidence is the testimony of Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, a Washington state Republican who spoke with her party’s House leader, Kevin McCarthy, after McCarthy got into a shouting match with Trump. McCarthy and his staff were barricaded in an office, fearing for their lives, when McCarthy pleaded with Trump to call off the mob. Trump initially denied the mob was made up of his people. McCarthy told him he was wrong, and again demanded that he do something, anything — go on TV, post to Twitter — to call them off. “Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are,” Trump said, allowing the violence to rage on.

“I think it speaks to Trump’s mindset,” said Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, another Republican. “He was not sorry to see his unyieldingly loyal vice president or the Congress under attack by the mob he inspired. In fact, it seems he was happy about it or at the least enjoyed the scenes that were horrifying to most Americans across the country.”

“You have to look at what he did during the insurrection to confirm where his mind was at,” Herrera Beutler told CNN. “That line right there demonstrates to me that either he didn’t care, which is impeachable, because you cannot allow an attack on your soil, or he wanted it to happen and was OK with it, which makes me so angry.”

We can’t look away from this simple set of facts: All the evidence points to the conclusion not just that Trump recklessly whipped up a mob that went on to storm the Capitol, but that he wanted that mob to succeed in finding and attacking those who stood in the way of his return to the presidency. Now, of course, nobody can know what exactly went on inside Trump’s mind that day, but his conversation with Tuberville, the subsequent tweet, and his conversation with McCarthy point in a very dark direction.

What those Republican members of Congress have done is stare into Medusa’s face and refuse to blink.

Is there a rational basis to believe that the insurrection could have succeeded? It’s possible to put one together: If Pence and Pelosi were killed or badly injured, and the votes not certified, Trump could declare some sort of state of emergency and — this is the key point — live to fight another day.

Living to fight another day is Trump’s life philosophy. Just ahead of the 2018 midterms, Trump, at a rally, acknowledged he might lose the House. “It could happen. Could happen,” he said. “And you know what you do? My whole life, you know what I say? ‘Don’t worry about it, I’ll just figure it out.’ Does that make sense? I’ll figure it out.”

This was Trump’s MO throughout his business life. Faced with what appeared to be inevitable defeat, his last resort was always to create chaos, not because it would naturally lead to success, but because it would at least reset the situation and give his incredible lucky streak another opportunity to assert itself. Trump didn’t know exactly how things would play out if the mob succeeded in its mission, but he knew how things would go if it didn’t: He would lose. And he was ready to kill to stave that off.

The Senate has now voted to subpoena testimony from Herrera Beutler, who likely knows the names of other Republicans McCarthy also spoke to. Rep. Jamie Raskin, a House impeachment manager, also said he wanted access to notes Herrera Beutler took of her conversation with McCarthy. There seems to be no reason not to also call McCarthy.

Edited from a story in Bad News by Ryan Grim   

Biden has a 98% approval rating with Democrats

— So where’s the avalanche of media coverage?

President Joe Biden is posting the best inner-party approval numbers for any new U.S. president in the history of modern polling. Gallup last week pegged Biden’s approval among Democratic voters at a staggering 98 percent. Clearly overjoyed that Trump has left office, Democrats are giving Biden nearly universal, unblinking support at the start of his presidency, and rallying around his larger agenda in unprecedented numbers: 

• 99 percent of Democrats support Biden’s executive order for wearing masks in federal buildings.

• 97 percent of “liberals” support the Covid relief bill that Biden is championing.

• 96 percent of Democrats support his response to the pandemic.

Biden’s approval is also sky-high among independent voters, with 61 percent supporting him. Just 29 percent of independents backed Trump as he left office last month. He never received more than 47 percent of their support during his four years in office.

In terms of historical perspective, Biden’s stunning 98 percent approval from his own party today has only been matched once before in American polling. That was when President George W. Bush received 98 and 99 percent support among Republicans in the days immediately following the terror attack of Sept. 11, 2001, eight months into his first term.

The reason Biden’s stratospheric support is so amazing, and why it has clear media implications, is that the Beltway press just spent four years inundating news consumers with Trump Voter stories based on the fact that Trump’s hold on the party was so strong, and his base was so loyal that the phenomena demanded nonstop attention. Trump’s approval rating among Republicans was a sign of a political superstar in the making, the press insisted.

Today, Biden’s approval rating from his own party is even higher than Trump’s was. When the Republican was inaugurated in January 2017, his GOP approval rating stood at 90 percent, eight points lower that Biden’s backing today among Democrats. So if the press used Trump’s 90 percent GOP approval rating as reason to marvel at his superstar status — his “iron grip” on the base — why isn’t there an avalanche of media coverage now about the historically popular Democrat? Why aren’t reporters fanning out through blue state diners collecting quotes from Biden fans, discussing how enthralled they are by the new president?

Months into Trump’s presidency a platoon of reporters regularly traveled to red state strongholds, eagerly collecting quotes (“I think he’s doing a great job”) from people who voted for Trump and who wanted to confirm how much they still support him. (“Hitting it out of the ballpark.”) The New York Times in particular typed up hosannas from Trump fans and presented their praise and vociferous defense of the president as news.

In the winter of 2017, the Times published a long profile on women who voted for Trump (explaining their support “in their own words”), a piece on Trump fans who traveled to the inauguration, and an adoring profile of a Trump fan who lied about Hillary Clinton during the campaign and profited from his fake news business. That approach set the tone for four years as journalists remained committed to telling, and retelling, the same tale: Republicans love Trump. That’s it. That was the whole story, but it was treated as breaking news for his entire term in office.

“Inside the Mystery of Donald Trump’s Stubbornly Loyal Political Base,” read a McClatchy Newspaper headline, from 2018. The piece marveled at his “uncanny connections with supporters.” Axios recently gushed, “No president in our lifetime has enjoyed a more mesmerizing, seemingly unbendable hold on his political base than Donald Trump.” And from U.S. News: “Trump’s Core Supporters Remain Loyal.”

The press is still writing about how popular Trump is with Republicans. “Trump’s Loyal Fans Pose Challenges for Republicans, Biden,” read a recent Associated Press headline.

As for the wildly popular Biden? He’s often treated as a sidebar by the press. Biden just became the first candidate in U.S. history to win 80 million votes. He did it during a pandemic, yet some states saw an astronomical voter turnout rate hovering at 80 percent. Biden received 34 million (!) more votes than Bill Clinton did in 1996, and 16 million more than Barack Obama received in 2012. Shouldn’t that, along with the unprecedented 98 percent party support he currently enjoys, make Biden a political phenomenon in the eyes of the press? Shouldn’t his “iron grip” on the Democratic Party, in the form of his stratospheric approval rating, be the topic of endless reporting and analysis?

Instead, the news has been shrugged off, as if it’s common for a president to have universal support from his party members. The press seems completely uninterested in the fact that Biden’s base is more excited about its presidency than Trump’s base ever was about his.

From Press Run, Eric Boehlert

https://pressrun.media/subscribe

Research says the criminal insurrectionist Trump is responsible for all of it

According to a report published by the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 was the “direct result of a months-long effort rooted in disinformation” that was promoted and fueled by the criminal insurrectionist Donald Trump.

The group has put together a comprehensive timeline that shows how the movement (or cult) was “coordinated by some of his most fervent, conspiratorial supporters; and incorporating a wide range of supporting groups.”

The research article, published at Just Security, uses material posted “in plain sight” on online platforms which were designed to convince people of falsehoods about the 2020 elections. The disinformation campaign centered around Trump’s the “Stop the Steal” movement, which hosted a rally on Jan. 6 that preceded the violence at the Capitol.

“The Stop the Steal movement included groups across a spectrum of radicalization: hyperpartisan pro-Trump activists and media outlets; the neo-fascist Proud Boys, a group with chapters committed to racism and the promotion of street violence; unlawful militias from around the country with a high degree of command and control, including the so-called Three Percenters movement; adherents to the collective delusion of QAnon; individuals identifying with the Boogaloo Bois, a loosely organized anti-government group that has called for a second civil war; and ideological fellow travelers of the far-right, who wanted to witness something they believed would be spectacular,” the report states.

According to the report, the binding ingredients that brought these groups together was conspiracy theories about the 2020 election coupled with cult-like support for Trump.

Read the full report over at Just Security.

Investigate all of Trump’s accomplices especially “Moscow” Mitch and “Leningrad” Lindsey

The coward and traitor Sen. “Leningrad” Lindsey Graham’s (R-SC) refusal to allow the now-majority Democratic Senate to schedule a hearing for President Joe Biden’s choice as new attorney general, Judge Merrick Garland, has slowed down investigations into the Jan. 6th Capitol riot that had lawmakers fleeing for their lives. How convenient!

Thanks to manipulation by “Moscow” Mitch McConnell refusing to agree to a power-sharing agreement in the Senate that only recently allowed the Democrats to take over the committees — including the prestigious Senate Judiciary Committee that would hold hearings on Merrick Garland.

It allowed traitorous trump “suck up” Graham to hold the reins of the committee as its chairman and of course he refused to schedule a hearing at the request of Democrats so now it will be delayed for weeks.

It’s possible that another month will pass before Merrick Garland takes over as attorney general, said Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), a member of the Judiciary panel and a close ally of Biden.”

“That possibly lengthy setback in installing leadership at the department is especially troubling to Democratic lawmakers and outside advocates—not only because they’re itching to get started on a new DOJ agenda, but because of the acute importance of its business at the moment. Among many other things, for example, the department is investigating and prosecuting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol,” the report states before adding, “… when the incoming Judiciary chairman, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), wanted to schedule a hearing for Garland, he first had to ask the permission of the outgoing chairman, Senator suck up Lindsey Graham (R-SC)—and of course Graham said no.” We believe its because he is one of many, who at Trump’s orders, tried to illegally overturn the election.

The Department of justice needs to get to work on the real threats to our country. The DOJ needs to effectively investigate and respond to rightwing domestic terrorism. To have our country’s chief legal officer sidelined for weeks is proof that this insurrection and sedition continues.

edited from raw story